As we got older, we got to take part in the Easter chocolate making business. Dad would take that huge block of chocolate and start to cut it into little pieces...I would catch his eye and he would give me a piece, just a taste...boy was it good! Once it was cut it would go into the double boilers. That is when the house filled with that awesome chocolate factory smells. They had lots of metal molds which were already cleaned, dried and prepared for the day. Each one would be filled half full of chocolate. They would turn them and twist them until the chocolate covered the inside of the mold. Out to the back shed on the marble top they would go to cool.. As they were cooling mom would prepare my favorite part of the chocolate...the base. She would pore the chocolate onto the cookie sheet nice and thick. They would then take the molds and place the bottoms into the base. Then they would cool. It seemed to take forever (it was usually less then ten minutes) for it to set. We loved this part because we got to taste the leftover pieces. Just like when you do cut outs, there was chocolate around the molds that could not me used again. It was for us to eat! It was the most amazing chocolate you have ever tasted....Merkins chocolate. The best pure chocolate you could get at the time. Mom would put it on a plate and hand it to us kids. We would take one piece and let it slowly melt in our mouth. It was the best part of making chocolate! They would then tap the molds and declare they were ready! They would open the molds and out would come the most beautiful chocolates you have ever seen. There were the traditional bunnies, which they would then put eyes on and trim around...but there were also elephants, chickens, and my favorite...the teddy bear. Mom would store them in the back cupboard. I can still see the whole cupboard filled with chocolate...It was amazing to think that my parents made them!
Dad was the best Easter bunny. He would hide our baskets in such hard spots for the older kids and perfect spots for us. He would give us clues that would keep us guessing for hours. He loved Easter! Once we would find it all of his clues made perfect sense. I would climb up on his lap and look over all the goodies in my basket. We used to get gifts too. Until one year while mom and dad were out Christine and I snuck into mom and dads closet and found our Easter surprises. We were riding the bikes that they had gotten us all over the kitchen as mom and dad came home! Boy was mom mad! That was the end of our big Easter gifts.
As our kids grew up we tried to mimic the Easter making process. I had a few molds, and lots of flats and would make them. It was never the same. The plastic bag of chocolate disks would never compare to the block of chocolate. Eventually, I started buying chocolate for my kids. It had to be good chocolate...Niagara chocolate. This was not quite as good as Merkins, but it was the next best thing. I used to love to order Brandon the dinosaur egg with the baby dinosaurs inside it! I got Becca the kitty and Rachael the ballerina slippers. Eventually it turned into chocolate tools and cars for Brandon and chocolate CD's, skates, and cell phones for the girls...but always the smiley face circles.... To me they tasted like the "Real chocolate" base we used to have as kids.
This year I only got the kids one piece of Niagara chocolate...and clothes, gifts... plus the smiley face circles.I ordered them from school and put them in the office and did not think about them...until the week before Easter. I had not been tempted by the chocolate at all. Until Dave went to Wal-Mart and got chocolate eggs for the Easter bunny to give out (Dave is the Easter bunny if you have not guessed!) When I opened up the bags to put into his bunny basket I got a waif of Chocolate. This was not as good...but it took me back to those childhood days! I did not want those eggs the "Easter Bunny" was giving out, I wanted the smiley face circles in the office!
Dave was gone doing shows most of the week. He took Rachael with him most days to help. This left me home alone most of the week. I did well until Friday. Rachael called to tell me that her and her daddy were going to a movie. I was tired of being home alone and I was disappointed. I wanted to spend time with them too. I wanted to do something fun! I wanted something special! My mind immediately went to the chocolate in the closet. I would only have one piece...
As I opened up the bag I knew I should not be doing this....but I continued! As I put the chocolate into my mouth I was drawn back to those days of old. I had to have another and another...until I ate half of the one pound bag. I was scared someone would find out. Then I knew what I had to do. I had to eat the rest...or they would know(my family). I also convinced myself that if I ate the rest I would get so sick of chocolate. I would make sure.that this would not happen again for a long time...for ever. I continued to eat my kids Easter candy. I had to force the last two down but I ate the whole package. Now, I did not feel good... I felt guilty. I really have not had chocolate since last August. How could I have done that? Here I was leading a diet class and I had failed. I was meeting the girls at the gym the next day. What was I going to tell them?
As I met the girls at the gym I looked them in the eye and told them that I blew it. I did not want them to make excuses for me and tell me "that is ok we all make mistakes!" I wanted them to be mad at me. I wanted them to yell at me. They did not and they were not mad...but I was mad at myself.. As I stepped on the scale I had gained over a pound. I was going up for the first time in a long time. I deserved it! I gained the pound I had eaten. I had worked very hard to get where I was. If I had just taken one or two pieces that would have been fine. That is not what I did. I gorged... eating so quickly that I was not even enjoying it. The night before Easter as Dave and I were preparing the kid's baskets...they were missing the smiley faces...because of me. I realize I don't need to gorge myself to bring me back to my childhood memories. They are all in my heart and I can take them out whenever I want, without hurting myself! I will have to work very hard to get off the pound..but I learned a valuable lesson through it!!!